Our oldest girl turned six on Saturday. Six trips around the sun of her making our life brighter, and better, and more exciting just by being her. A whole heck of a lot has happened in the past six years, but Ella remains one of the happiest and joyous moments. For the past six years, she has been my constant companion, living and loving alongside each other. She has been my greatest teacher these past couple years, . Challenging me to move past comfortable into a deeper and better love.
Ella is a girl whose default speed is excitement. She loves a good plan, and if we haven’t created one quick enough she will step right up to the plate. She is diligent, thoughtful, considerate, big picture, and well aware of everything going on around her. As she grows day by day and year by year, she continues to be an amazing blessing. She is at a age where she takes great delight in being helpful.
Ella willingly bears the responsibility of being the oldest. She is a partner in crime to Sophie, patient with Eva, and a watchman to Gavin. As we have been approaching six, many growing milestones have come into place. Reading had taken off; riding a bike; making grilled cheese. I blinked, or changed a diaper, or wiped someone’s nose and Ella seemed to have conquered another new feat. So just to slow down time, she and I snuck out on Friday afternoon for a date. We took a trip to the Downtown Mall and popped in the yarn store per her request. Our date was so Ella could pick out yarn so we could make a shawl for her Felicity doll and then we were going to get hot chocolate. The touring antique carousel was set up in the middle of the Downtown Mall, and Ella skipped from the yarn store to the horses swinging her yarn bag and giggling all the way there. We rode around and around. Twirling and laughing together I got to watch her and remember inside my grilled cheese making, reading girl is still my sweet first baby who flipped my life upside down and isn’t too big, after all.
Thank you so much for all your kind words about the baby and the sweater from yesterday’s post. I am most grateful for the community here and the friendships which have been created.
In addition to the baby knitting, there has been lots and lots of knitting this past week. Last year, Ella expressed an interest in learning how to knit. We had a successful introduction at the time. Shortly after, she set the needles aside. Ella asked me to find her needles and her yarn last week. She had made up her mind to make a blanket for her tiny stuffed zebra. In. Around. Through. Off. Repeat. We sit together. One row at a time. She knits the row. We check for mistakes together. I fix the mistakes. Just like that we are almost there – a tiny blanket for her zebra.
Our weekend welcomed a new soccer player to the family. Ella has long awaited this day. As I was sipping my coffee, out of the quiet came a simple song, ” Yay, yay, yay! soccer day is finally here.” Sophie needed handmade pom-poms to bring to the game and was the sweetest cheerleader I have ever seen.
There were Saturday chores without complaint, and a snugly nap with Sophie. There was dinner with friends. Talk of hopes prayerfully on the horizon. Followed up with hair styling advice. Friends, this is the making of a good evening; should anyone be wanting a formula.
Sunday was peaceful and what I wished every Sunday could be. Everyone settled and happy to play. A little reading. Chilly enough to need a blanket. A little Chai tea. A little football. A nap, this time with Ella. Chicken and dumplings for dinner – and one child declaring I NEED to make this again because it’s a favorite.
If you gave each of my daughters seven dresses apiece, they would be happy. Jeans prompt tears. They finagle their way out of pants, unless they are leggings under skirts or dresses. I sorted Ella’s clothes with her last week. We moved all the clothes that were too small out of the drawers into the queue of boxes for Sophia and, then, Eva. For the past two clothes switches, I have also been asking if she likes the piece of clothing before it goes into her drawer for the first time. We have let go of what she tells me she doesn’t like. This has made getting dressed easier for her. As her independence continues to grow, she has taken more of an interest in matching her own outfits. To make getting her dressed easier for her (and me) I wanted her to have a couple skirts she could put on as often as she wanted with as many different shirts as she wanted. Sunny days. Sunny days she wishes were rainy days so she can use her new umbrella. Rainy days. Everyday.
The skirt was made from Sugar City’s tutorial with an awesome thrift store find: 4 yards of uncut chambray. I can make skirts ’til the cows come home. She said she would like another one, in a different color, just in case this one is still in the laundry.
My lady turned five last week. I am so happy she is ours.
We celebrated all day, and she thought it was perfect.
Thank you to my first lady for reteaching me about love everyday: for rearranging my priorities; and with each passing day making me more and more thankful for everyday we have spent together.
You are a girl of details. Always asking questions and two steps ahead. Your dad and I think you are going to project manage something huge one day since you are already project managing me and you are only five.
You are a girl of wild imagination. Lately, I have not even needed to suggest games for you to play. You have been inventing and acting out elaborate play such as the dinosaurs that need to come to the hospital so you and Sophie can fix their bones.
You are a girl of trustworthiness. And, this is the one I am most proud of! You are kind and protective. I count on you to do the right thing because you have proven you will time and time again. Eva is desperate and determined to be outside with you and Sophie now that spring is here in all its glory. Many times I have come outside to find you helping her up the slide and making sure she does not come within ten yards of the swing. The best part is it is just who you are.
You are so loved! Happy Birthday!
While spending time in the playroom yesterday morning with the girls, Ella asked me if I could teach her to knit. Oh my! My sweet Ella could I ever. Nestled in back to front saying ” IN, AROUND, THROUGH, OFF” she got the beginning of garter stitch. Then, she announced very confidently and proudly that she was going to make a pink shirt for Sophia.
I am still working my way through The Distant Hours by Kate Morton and the Blue Wyatt sweater I mentioned here. I really like the book. I have started a little habit of laying down with Ella for a little while at the start of nap time. I read for a tiny bit and she has a few minutes to calm down. There have even been a couple times where both of us have fallen asleep, which is just a sweet time with her. I read The Forgotten Garden by Morton earlier this year and liked that one as well. Knitting, however, is not having as much progress. I was distracted this week by continuing to decorate for Christmas and trying to get a large portion of the Christmas shopping done. We are waiting on several packages to arrive in the mail. Joel was able to come home from work early yesterday, and I went out by myself yesterday (gasp) and was able to hunt down a few presents.
what are you working on or reading this week?
+++ joining ginny in her weekly yarn along.
The Lady had just two simple requests:
“Can you knit me something next?” and “Can it be pink?”
Yes, my lady. Yes.
As we were blocking the dress, which incidentally is Ella’s favorite part of the process because she requests to put all the pins in, she kept asking if I was sure her dress would be dry by Monday. The day she was assigned to be the line leader at preschool. Oh how she loves just that little bit of responsibility. She eats it up. She was off her rocker thrilled that it ended up being fire drill day, and she got to be the line leader two extra times that day. All in the dress. The pink dress.
++ joining ginny for her weekly yarn along